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POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD
POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD
POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD
POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD
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POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD

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This note gives a outline on possible imact of global climae change and failure of globalized world to come to consensus at recent climate change summit at Copenhagen in 2009

This note gives a outline on possible imact of global climae change and failure of globalized world to come to consensus at recent climate change summit at Copenhagen in 2009

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  • 1. POWER OF CLIMATE CHANGE AND POTENTIAL CONFLICTS IN GLOBALIZED WORLD Dr. Prashant Mehta Assistant Professor, National Law University, Jodhpur Email: prashantmehta1@rediffmail.com In today’s globalized economic world shared challenges can bring out the best in people, at the same time over dependence on each other can also do the opposite with more devastating effect. Global climate change is one such typical shared challenge for humanity and its existence, and although the climate change threat has inspired a substantial amount of international co-operation, efforts to moderate it at recent Copenhagen Climate Summit 2009 have already proven divisive among the developed nations and rest of the world. Addressing an issue which directly affects each one of us we are yet to unite. Since the 1980s, a growing body of multidisciplinary research has dealt with the relationship between environmental stress (environmental degradation and resource scarcity), impact on nations and resulting conflicts. Bad news continues to emerge form scientific models and empirical observations. Latest research evidence suggests that unprecedented levels green house gases build up; its mounting adverse effects can pose an irreversible threat to mankind is none other than rising global temperatures and its fatal consequences. More specifically, the world's biggest carbon polluters (developed and fast developing countries) the issue of global warming is assuming a level of breaching threshold of sustainability, where number of other integrated socio-economic factors, regional interest factors, driver of hunger, social unrest etc will contribute to increased
  • 2. chances of conflicts across the globe. The world is facing these new developments as catastrophic to human civilization and its existence. The scenario may become more threatening in few years from now when countries like India and China which today are aspiring to become of great economic powers of tomorrow. Doing so these countries will have to maintain a fine balance between fast economic growth and their responsibilities toward climate change. Fairness demands that all nations participate in the common effort to contain build up of green house gases, even if the developed countries must accept more stringent constraints than the developing countries. As such answering two critical questions have become imperative for each of us individually or collectively. They are: Whether climate change impacts are likely to increase conflict potentials across the globe? Secondly in what way these findings affect the international progress on the processes, international negotiations, and finding linkages between climate change and chances of conflict. Climate change as of today is already having a considerable impact and emerging as major challenges on food security, water scarcity, rivalry for farmland and fishing resources. The available scientific evidence on the linkages between climate change, high degree of environmental stress, and conflict focuses on many issues that contribute to both long term environmental degradation (e.g. of soil and water) and scarcity (e.g. of fresh potable water and food). Taking these specific global and national conditions into account, the environmental stress may lead to several disturbing outcomes like wide spread international tensions and regional instability besides highlighting issues like a) distress and mass scale migration like African example of Darfur, were we see this explosive mixture from the impact of climate change, which prompts immigration by increasingly impoverished people, which then has consequences in war., b) impending natural hazards,
  • 3. calamities, and disaster, c) domestic instability and resulting crises, and d) internal security or wide scale international conflicts. Among these structural factors of Global Environmental Change, we can make a clear distinction between primarily nature-induced factors that are reinforced by anthropogenic consumption patterns (climate change, water scarcity and soil erosion) and human activity-induced factors (unprecedented population growth, rapid urbanization, food scarcity and security). If we keep going down this path, and disturb the delicate balance of Mother Nature, than the resulting consequences of climate change will encourage the migration of people from areas of scarcity towards areas where the population do have something for sustainability, the Darfur crisis will be only one crisis among dozens of others scattered all across the globe. The global climate change and its conflict dimension will result in loss of life, social divisions, and reduction of economic activity, economic instability and reduced international trade. Special emphasis should be put on how climate change might exacerbate environmental stresses. Climate change may also have security consequences in areas where there is large influx of refugee, health, disaster relief, food, water, sanitation and resettlement. Large scale mitigation and adaptation measures on environmental stress can act as effective tools for conflict prevention or conflict reduction. In order to implement both above mentioned measures for effective results the objective of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and natural climate cycles has to be strictly adhered to in lines with Kyoto protocol and subsequent discussions thereafter. Climate change impacts will not be the single or main causes of future conflicts or crises, nevertheless, in combination with other factors climate change impacts are likely to contribute to magnified environmental stress and thus could become a
  • 4. potential cause of future conflicts. In order to take appropriate policy measures, comprehensive assessment procedures are needed. Today is the best time to look into this problem from multidimensional perspectives otherwise tomorrow will be too late. Conclusion: Today is the right time to look into this problem or tomorrow will be too late for the sustenance of civilized society.

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